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tv   Mad Money  CNBC  September 28, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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i'm jim cramer. welcome to my world. you need to get in the game. they're going to go out of business. they're nuts! they know nothing. >> i always like to say there's a bull market somewhere. "mad money." i'm jim cramer. i'm trying to save you money. my job is not just to entertain but to educate. so call me. welcome to the "mad money" day
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of atonement show where we take stock of all the wrong things i've done over the past year, beat myself up over it and help you to try to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. that's the only way for me to atone when it comes to the stock market. it's all done on a real empty statistic. i am always about accountability. tonight we're taking that to a whole new level. the level of self hatred and dispickability. that's talk about one of my biggest screw-ups, recommending boeing as a trade ahead of the paris air show. because i believed they would be able to fly the new powerful and fuel efficient dreamliner into france for the occasion. >> boo! >> i thought it would be a lindbergh moment. as it turned out, boeing used the air show to reveal exactly the opposite. of what i predicted.
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it admitted that it still couldn't build the darn thing yet. the trade was a total and unmitigated disaster. a virtual hindinburg. what should i have done instead of being a lot less cocky? i should have stressed that boeing was an investment, not a trade. there was simply no reason to brand it as a trade. sometimes the sin is coming out here on "mad money" and playing the hedge fund game like i used to. trying to come up with a quick winner, which is what i tried to do here. when instead, i should have been making for the home game, the long-term case for boeing. this was my bad. the story behind this stock wasn't about how quickly they could get the dreamliner and the air. it wasn't about the analysts
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taking up numbers after an amazing paris air show. it was about the beginning of a brand-new multiyear air show. one that would have been irrespective of when the airliner flew. not some stupid trade. this was wrong. i did get the idea from wall street. and they and a lot of the smart guy analysts were suggesting it would launch in time for the show. they got it wrong. this is my show. i can't just say, hey, they got it wrong, sorry. i should have pointed out that many were speculating they were about to fly but short-term it doesn't matter. so big deal if you miss it for a month or two. if i made the case for boeing, you could have made a lot of money. you could have bought the stock on the way down, when they told us they couldn't even build the dreamliner yet. knowing they were in for a multiyear run when they did
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manage to fill it. i broke one of my card nal rules, which is never turn an investment into trade. or any of the new rules, the latest gospel according to cramer in bookstores on october 13th. this would have been a terrific investment opportunity to buy boeing down in stages, as i always teach you. as the hot money crowd punted the stock. i kept can you out of buying the stock at a 4% yield instead of selling it into the vortex, which is what my strategy led you to do. the only way i can atone for this mistake is by making the long-term case for boeing right now. in recent weeks, we've gotten
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good news for the airline industry. aircraft leasing companies buying our old genesis lease. that means the potential for airline orders is really great. and the participate company of american airlines got a lot of financing. everyone knows i generally hate the airline stocks. but this helps the airplane makers. what do you think airlines do when they borrow the money? they invariably buy new planes like dreamline. it's great for boeing. on top of that, the dollar's going the way of boeing. meaning it's going to hurt airbus. makes it cheaper for modern companies to buy boeing's planes. also, more merger news. high share was ream acquired, an aerospace company. i should have told you to buy the stock on the way down, whenever you can. because boeing's a great long-term story. every time they delayed the dreamliner it was a gift. i should have been focusing on the real story, the beginning of the new aerospace story. as long as the stock stays in the low 40s or 50s, i'm saying, i'm making amends, i think you have a winner. i think calling boeing a trade as the aerospace cycle was starting to turn was one of my biggest gaffes of the year.
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still better than a sharp stick in the eye. it's business about to become much better. here's the bottom line. i made a mistake. i should never have gone for the trade when i had a traffic investment on my hands. that was the mistake i made with boeing. i knew about the new aerospace cycle. i decided it was more worthwhile to focus on a couple of points and how the dreamliner might get them for you before the paris air show. big mistake. not just because the trade was bad, but also because i should have been highlighting the fabulous investment opportunity. when you have a great investment, that should be the focus, not the trade. the only way i can atone is by telling you i think boeing is still very much a buy. because it's an investment, if it goes lower, you can always buy some more. lease go to noel in texas. >> boo-ya from henderson, texas.
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>> a texan calls. ohio as our major place of calls. i have to tell you everybody in texas seems to have a lot of horse sense. >> you got did. several credit advancing companies are closing good standing accounts due to upcoming legislation.
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i want to know what you think of customer service and how does that affect stock prices. >> first, let me say this is a more complicated and better question than it mayo the surface seem. and i say that because until i had my friend, danny marr, come on. he wrote a book called "setting the table." until he came on, i really denigrated the notion customer service would play a role. i was wrong. whole foods, american express, goldman sachs. a handful of companies that have great customer service. it really mattered in the recession. i think it matters greatly. i have rethought my view on this. and if a company has great customer service. i kaunt it as a way to value the company more highly. eric in michigan. >> caller: hello, mr. cramer. love your show. i have a question about capital gains tax and investing. i think most people know marginal tax is 35% and capital gains is 15. even when you make a trade on a
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short-term stock, say you make $10 in a trade. if you keep that stock for a whole year and make $8, after uncle sam takes his cut, you'll still make more money on a long-term trade like that. and my question is. why don't you just make a portfolio with everything long term to take advantage of the difference in the tax rates? >> eric, i spent a lot of time on this issue. it's one of my issues. one of the things is you must never let the tax man control your situation. why? because so often i find people hold on to stocks to get preferred tax rates and then end up losing the profit because the company goes bad or the stock goes bad. many people made this mistake in 20. i politely disagree with you. don't worry about the tax man. worry about losing the profit. never confuse a trade for an investment. i did that.
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boeing was a great investment. i branded it a trade. it still is a great investment. i'm trying to make amends. stay with cramer. starting october 1st, you can enter to win. welcome back to "mad money," day of atonement, 2009. a pure, unbridaled celebration of accountant. we were focusing on our mistakes, especially mine and how you can learn from them to become a better investor.
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welcome back to "mad money," day of atonement, 2009. a pure, unbridaled celebration of accountant. we were focusing on our mistakes, especially mine and how you can learn from them to become a better investor. when it comes to the stock market, there is no such thing as atonement. there is no way to say i'm sorry except paying it back. this is how to profit when you're beating yourself up and drinking cheap scotch. anything but cuttey-sark. that's why as miserable as this may sound for an investor, every day needs to be a day of atonement or accountability. you have to constantly question yourself and your ideas. even if you've been right, there are very few situations you'll stay right forever. you have to be able to tell when you're wrong. that can be very hard to do. it's not in our nature.
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most of the time, no matter how rigorously debate the decision to buy a stock, as soon as you put in a bid, your objectivity goes out the window. it makes it pretty hard to tell when something is wrong with the business. how do you hold your own feet to the fire? i have rule number 25, jim cramer getting back to even. you have to become your own strongest critic. you yourself have to constantly challenge your own ideas. you can take the old cat-o-nine tails and self flagellate every day. it's become more important than ever to know when to change your mind. to go from bullish to bearish and bullish again. the market has changed dramatically from when i got in the business. hedge funds, not mutual funds now dominate trading.
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they're the ultimate herd animals. they will take stocks up to extremes and tell them off brutally just as fast. when stock market is on fire, the hedge funds will set all the stocks on fire. you can't allow them to dull your reflexes. as soon as there is any fig change, there is no place these hedge funds won't sell to. once they start piling up big losses, the forced selling starts. the flip side of this is you can't be too bearish either. once a stock starts going up, the hedge funds will be forced to buy, forced to take down stock. they want to appease their client. in the old days, it was very different. the mutual funds were in charge and they would patiently sit with companies until their cycles came back. they didn't care about the ebbs and flows. natural gas is a great example of what the hedge funds can do. when the commodity peaked in 2008, the natural gas lost one-third of their value in two
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weeks. i missed that peak. i've been atoning for a long time. i think about it a lot when we think about natural gas. that was a total unthinkable move before the ascendcy hedge funds. no one can afford to wait out these huge gyrations. how do you see the end coming for a stock or group of stocks that have been on a tear? what you have to do at the same time you're buying any stock for the first time -- and this is a really good -- go off the desk and compile a list of the things
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you know would invalidate your thesis before you bought anything. compile a list of negatives that would make you feel like buying the stock was a mistake. essentially anything that would make you change your mind. be honest about why it might not work. nobody wants to admit it might be wrong. that's why you have to effectively handcuff yourself before you buy.
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you have to promise that you'll sell when the thesis starts falling apart. be very clear on what falling apart means. ideas this matter so much? think of what the perma-bears did back in march. they decided things were terrible no matter what, when we were still in a depression. china almost completely stopped importing anything. we had no idea whether any of this would end. that's a situation where the bears decided the stocks were no good no matter what. didn't matter what facts changed. then the depression ended and we
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went back to the recession. the banks found a firmer footing. china started picking up again. none of this mattered to the bears. they didn't have their checklist of what made them turn into bulls. they had a downbeat view. even though many good things happened since they became negative, that didn't make the perma-bears even happier or make them change their mind. when things got better, they raced the bar before they believed anything would improve. that is the ultimate in inflexibility and unwillingness to admit you're wrong. sometimes to make money, you have to know how to beat yourself up. you have to know how to doubt yourself. here's the bottom line. if you want to avoid having lots of losses to atone for, make sure you know what could make you want to sell a stock before you buy it. if that happens, just pull the trigger. or you'll get run over by the stampeding hedge funds who are trying to exit the stock for the same reasons that you knew to sell it for but didn't. bobby in california. >> caller: boo-ya, jim cramer. >> boo-yah, bobby. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you for a great show, as always. very informative and very funny.
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>> you're very welcome. it means a lot to me. every time i get down, i remember people like you, bobby, and keep on going. >> caller: keep on going and don't let the death threats get you. here's my question for you, jim. with companies that have a lot of cash on their books, how do you value the cash on their books in upgoing markets, like, for example, multiple companies have tons of cash. surely they're investing it and appreciating and that cash is appreciating along with the markets. and also, what happens to those companies if interest rates change? >> all right, great question. first of all, i like the back-out cash. if apple has $23 in cash, i back out the cash and it's a positive for me. secondly, not all companies do the right thing with their cash. i've got to tell you, i do not think that cash is is nearly as valuable as dividends. i want that dividend back to people. they shouldn't be sitting on
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that cash. if they don't, i have to rethink my plan. because maybe what they're doing is buying back stock to make sure their options come in. let's watch for that. scott in florida. >> caller: boo-ya, jim. hey, buddy. you mentioned mac-d as a tool to use. could you give us more information? >> what i'm looking for is the moving average and the violation on the down side or an exception where it goes higher. i look at it intraday. if the stock goes up and stays up, i suddenly realize it is my floor. and if the stock can't go above that 200 day, then i realize it's a ceiling. it's really as simple as that. i don't want to overcomplete that. it's floor-ceiling. when you see the ceiling, maybe you should go. to avoid losses, i need you to do something totally counter-intuitive. you need to be your own worst critic. you need to learn from your mistakes. most important, do your
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checklist. if any of those negatives occur, then you know it's time to sell. stay with cramer.
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day of atonement. the show devoted to intense self flagellation, not a lot of eating and identifying my mistakes, and helping you learn from them. what else do i have to atone for? how about the sin of arrogant certainty? it's possible to be way too certain, particularly when you're relying on a company or what they're saying or touting about its own prospects. when you rely on their assertions without doing your homework, you can lose your way. let me tell the tale. potash, it was telling you things were getting good, maybe even turning fabulous. i got sucked into their certainty, saying i liked the stock at $92 on july 29th, 2009. i got way too bullish about a company peddling something not as good as manure. these guys lowered the boom in a press release, flashing numbers big time from a range of 4 to $5 to $3.25 and $3.75. that crushed the stock. they had the audacity to issue this friday after close. sometimes you get hammered. it's going to happen. but we need to cut down on the times. i bought into the potash story because i believed all the good
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things the company was saying about a turn in fertilizer after a year of plummeting problems. i failed to realize that this company like so many others doesn't like to be negative. even when the abyss is staring them right in the face. you need to pay attention to much more than just the company. if you're only listening to management, they can sell you just about anything. potash was way too promotional. i never should have believed their bullishness. i feel conned. here's a line from the late friday night preannouncement conference call where they cut the numbers. even though the fertilizer business was terrible, potash earlier in the year announced the great fertilizer over. and i believed them. first problem, i had actually been cautious about the fertilizer business. i'd been right. i had been recommending tetranitrogen. i decided to get aggressive. i told you to dump it in favor i never should have believed
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their bullishness. i feel conned. here's a line from the late friday night preannouncement conference call where they cut the numbers. our 2009 earnings are still expected to be among the best in company history despite an expected decrease of 60% in year over year potash. the best in the company's history? come on. we care about the estimates and beating them. potash couldn't deliver. they can't help themselves. even after they preannounced a horrible number, they're still promoting themselves. even though the fertilizer business was terrible, potash earlier in the year announced the great fertilizer over. and i believed them. first problem, i had actually been cautious about the fertilizer business. i'd been right. i had been recommending tetranitrogen. i decided to get aggressive. i told you to dump it in favor of potash.
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when business is not good, stick to the companies that can pay out big dividends no matter what so they can support the stock. not the ones about to proclaim business is going to get better and better. i didn't pay attention to corn, to wheat, soy. farmers buy fertilizers to grow this stuff. so the prices are very telling for the fertilizer business. despite potash's bullishness, corn and wheat prices were still dropping. soy was flat. farmers aren't going to buy more fertilizers when the price of their crops is falling. that's common sense. i didn't pay attention to it. potash's conference call lulled me into believing things were great.
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it should have been obvious they were selling into a down market. the technicals were bad. the top stock newsletter, the writer of that taught me how to read charts. she told me the potash charts should be short. i don't believe you should totally rely on the technicals. i should have given more credence about what she had to say. that's why you use the technicals, to question yourself. i wasn't current. i hadn't done my daily homework on technicals. that's my bad. even worse, i told you that monsanto, a much better company, was a sell. i thought the seed company was badded but fertilizer was good. i told to you sell monsanto. no better house in the same crummy neighborhood. this is the kind of thing where the company was so bullish, we let ourselves be blind-sided and press ahead without thinking. we failed to recognize that
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fertilizer companies are beholden to farmers doing poorly. i figured potash knew something i didn't. i was wrong. i'm not saying you should never believe what companies say about themselves. i'm not saying a bullish conference call should be ignored. when a company is very bullish about its business, you should stand up and take notice. a bullish conference call isn't enough. you've got to verify. we didn't do anything verification with potash. we believed in the conference call. sometimes as it turns out, companies are being too self promotional. here's the bottom line. when you're too certain, too reliant on what a company has to say, in the end market, you can really screw things up. i screwed it up. i wish i could tell you it won't happen again. all i can do is to promise to not let it happen again. this is one tough job. potash wasn't the first time i've been fooled. i know it won't be the last. stay with cramer.
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masochists of the world unite. we're taking a close, painful look at some of the worst of the myriad investing mistakes i've made in 2009. i will always hold myself accountable.
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if you don't learn from your own mistakes, you never become a better investor. i can help save you some of the pain and a lot of the time by going over the mistakes i've made in teaching you what i've learned from them. so you don't have to do it yourself. i own the mistakes in "mad money" and i own up to them. back at my old hedge fund, whenever anybody made a mistake, including me, i would force them to wear a post-it note with the offending stock symbol on their forehead for the rest of the day. i made them go outside with it too. usually i was screaming at them, throwing whatever electronic piece of equipment was at hand. approximate i threw a water bottle and keyboard boards. while i've become more a statesman, i still believe in holding myself brutally accountable. the next post-it, the next stock i got wrong, air gas. arg. it's all right. this is one i should have gotten behind. i should have recommended. but instead i chickened out.
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i took a pass. i missed a huge 41% move. before i corrected myself. i wasn't short. i just atoned for being too certain about potash, too convinced and blinded by the company's old bullishness. the mistake with air gas was just the opposite. it's possible to be too skeptical. that's what i want to talk about right now. you've got to believe in somebody. when that person has built up a lot of credibility, like "mad money" in cramerica, it can be a mistake not to believe in them. i literally had been
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recommending this one for years, right up until i went negative on october 24th, 2008. after the show's ninth interview with air gas' ceo. at the time, the stock was down 46% from where i last recommended it on may eighth of that year. i'm atoning for my sins. that was mi first mistake. i couldn't take the pain from the losses. i made mistake number two. even though i trusted the ceo, even though he had been on the show eight times before, i said he had a broken stock on his hands. it was not likely to get better any time soon. oh, boy, at the time, the stock was at $33.60. now trading much, much higher. i feel like i kept you out of a huge gain. the ceo said things would get better.
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they did get better. the company went on to beat estimates. what went wrong? i think i let my fear get in the way of my judgment. i don't know if there was anything that the ceo could have said at the time that would have convinced me to stick with the stock. the market was plummeting. we were in the midst of the lehman garden variety depression. i refused to let myself be convinced by someone i trusted and believed in. there's healthy skepticism and there's making yourself impossible to persuade. that's dangerous. when you refuse to change your mind no matter what, when you've decided on what the answer is, when nothing will convince you things are good, you are going to miss out on a ton of opportunities. you have to be willing to believe someone when the track record is superb and they've never bagged you. if i wasn't willing to listen to a ceo whom i knew and had been on the show eight times before, who the heck would i listen to? skepticism is healthy.
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so is a degree of cynicism. but you can be too cynical to the point where it interferes with your point is similar to a much bigger mistake many people made when the market started to rally and soar higher. people lost so much money and had become so fearful and were committed to the idea that everything was bad. no amount of evidence to the contrary was going to change their mind. i made a judgment based on fear. that was a bad judgment. i should have been cool-headed, cold-blooded and rational. once you let fear take control of the process, you'll make investment mistakes. you've got to remember. or at least i do. not everyone in the game is a shameless self promoter. not all ceos are snake oil cellsman. after you take big losses, you can refuse to believe anything
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positive. and anyone who tells you things can get better is written off as a fraud. if you have that attitude, you better drop it. it didn't work for me. always be skeptical. but if you're unwilling to believe anything positive, that makes you a plain old mule. you're not going to find any money in the market if you think like that. shu put your no one bonds. the bottom line, the lesson of arrogance is simple. you can't shut yourself off from everybody. things can get better. you won't profit from the improvement unless you're willing to listen to the people predicting it.
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all night i've been talking about my mistakes. mistakes i've made in 2009 and trying to atone for. but i'm not the only one who has things to atone for. on this day, i want to call on others to atone with us. because while i've admittedly made previous mistakes at times, none of my screw-ups can hurt you the way that say how about the s.e.c. screw-ups can. tonight i'm calling the s.e.c. to atonal for a host of mistakes by getting off its duff and
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doing its job. that means punishing the bad guys and making the playing field level for regular investors like you. i expected more from the current head of the s.e.c., mary schapiro. the ones under bush wanted to get rid of all regulations. they didn't believe in regulations. they built the playing field against you in the first place. so far obama's s.e.c. has done very little to build it back. now i'm going to give the s.e.c. a list of things to do in order to atone for the ultimate crime, indifference and make the market safer for you. first, get the real uptick rule back and not the fake one that only kicks in when the market is down. way to placate the public without protecting you from the rapacious stealers of your wealth. supporters of the phony solution better be aware we're on to them. ever since it was created in the
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great depression, in the great crash of '29 to 1931, the uptick rule protected us from endless selling. it forced the shorts to wait for a higher price before they could bang it down with a short sale. the government created this rule during the depression to prevent a repeat of the great depression, and the repeat of the great crash, but then, of course, the s.e.c. under chris cox got rid of it in 2007, but what happened? a repeat of the great crash. without the uptick rule the -- the obama s.e.c. has gotten pretty lucky. if they ever sour, you can better you'll be paying the price. that's why we need to bring back the uptick rule. the s.e.c. better listen to me, and not all the academics, they've never traded. that's what i did for a living. we need to bring back the half the profits came from short-selling. the short-sellers claim it interferes with their right to make a profit, please. give me a break. second, the s.e. krchl needs to stop what i see as a prolef rags of etfs much mass destruction.
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they give you 2 to $3 of firepower for every dollar you put down. i have talked about thousand destructive i think these are. the s.e.c. thinks they're fine. pro shares of the company i think is responsible for the bulk of the bad ultrashort sector efts. from what i can tell, the efts nearly took us to the brink. because the worst of them, being the ultrashort financial pro shares, i think it did immense damage to the banks. therefore, i think it may have cost taxpayers billions of dollars in bailout money. pro shares needs to atone. they're just trying to make money. it's fully s.e.c. they shouldn't have been approved. it's the s.e.c.'s job to approve these things. everybody is going to try to slip something through. they've got to stop it. most people think these short ef efts is a way to hedge against the sector. the longer-term is sector is a measure of the volatility of the index. that could make you no one money in a period of the financials. it got hammered. these things exist and
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unfortunately can allow day traders to take advantage of stocks, giving them the ability to bang an entire sector down quickly. great for bear raiders. that's what they did. they decided to level the playing field in favor of the bears. they must be destroyed by the s.e.c. their fields sewn with salt, preferably kosher. that way they never come back. if we don't get rid of them, they will get rid of us. the uptick rule can't work if these investors are allowed to get extra leverage for shorting stock. that's another reason why the etfs have to go. hey, s.e.c., crack down on real lawbreakers, please, not by trying to clear the docket like the $33 million bank of america for paying out $5 million in hidden bonuses. come on. now, that was slapped down by a very good federal judge. the bad guys should be the ones who pay. want the shareholders. especially in the case like this
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where the bad guys took money from the shareholders that weren't supposed to. stop trying to clear the docket, and the s.e.c. needs to stop trying to keep its eye on the surprise. the investigation of the investigation showed this is ab. s.e.c. that approves any am -- like the uptick rule. not prosecuting naked short selling. it's an s.e.c. that gave bank of america executives a $33 million slap on the wrist for hiding $5.8 well in bonuses. they slapped the wrong darn wrist. they dinged the shareholders for money when they should have taken it from the hides of the executives. the s.e.c. has a lot it atone for. they can do their jobs, reinstating the uptick rule, getting rid of the double, triple-a tfs and actually trying to catch the bad guys.
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charles in california. charles. >> caller: hey, jim. big boo-yah to you. how are you doing some. >> not bad. thank you for asking. how about, charles? >> caller: pretty fwood. i have a question for the derivatives market. it's gone unregulated for 36 years. according to a report i read from the bank of international settlements, the derivatives markets now got a value over a quad ril yon dollars, jim. you know, my question is when the bailout money is used up, is the derif tis market going to start bleeding again? >> no, i don't think so. what we need is transparency here. one of the things that happened when i was a salesman at goldman sachs and when i was a hedge fund manager, i never liked to sell or buy anything where there was no real market. if we had transparency and these things had to trade over multiple exchanges, then we wouldn't have had the problem we've had. one of the things that hams is it's like the great disinfectant. we -- it f we knew what the prices were, then we would have
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thicker markets, and then you worry about the destruct i capability of the derivatives would go away. mrooe me, it would. let's go back to texas. let's go to mark in texas. mark. >> hey, big texas agy boo-yah from mark. >> the aggies have been a dominant force on mad money, and i'm thrilled. what's up? >> caller: with the dollar syncing against our major trading partners, if you were going put some of your portfolio in precious metals, would you go with gold, gold miner, or an etf like gld? >> this is a tough call because i'm going to rank them right now. the ultimate one to guy buy is bouillon, but most people can't store it. if you kshg that's your number one gig. number two would be the gld because it trades with the bouillon. then i like gold coins. then finally i pick the gold stock. it's a low cost and the low refining cost which is el dorado gold, ego. that's the order. i'm not going to vary from it.
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i think the s.e.c. should also atone for their mistakes. hey, s.e.c., it's time to regulate. stay with cramer.
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>> i like to say there's always a bull market somewhere. i promise to find it. i am jim cramer, and i'll see you tomorrow. welcome to the now network. population: 49 million.
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